Matched Betting Glossary

Below are some of the common terms that’ll come across when Matched Betting or using the Forums.

If you are new to matched betting the best place to learn the process is with our matched betting guide here.

Advantage Play

Advantage play, or advantage gambling, refers to legal methods used to gain an advantage while gambling. Someone who practices advantage gambling is often referred to as an advantage player, or AP


Arbitrage on betting markets can be due to either bookmakers’ different opinions on event outcomes or plain errors. When conditions allow, by placing one bet per each outcome with different betting companies, the bettor can make a profit regardless of the outcome. Mathematically arbitrage occurs when there are a set of odds, which represent all mutually exclusive outcomes that cover all outcomes of an event.


To back something is to say that you think that outcome will happen.

Back Bet

Back betting is betting on an outcome to happen. An example is if you place a Back bet on a horse in the Melbourne Cup, you are betting on that horse to win the race. If it doesn’t come first, you will lose your stake. If your horse places first, you win.

Back & Lay

To back & lay (sometimes displayed as back/lay) is the most common technique of taking advantage of bookmaker promotions.You place a back bet at a bookmaker and a corresponding lay bet on a betting exchange to ensure that no matter the result you gain an equal return.


Also known as bank or float. This is the amount of money that you have available for matched betting. The more that you build your bank the more offers you’ll be able to tackle therefore the more money you will make. Discipline is key to building a good bank.


Betfair is the most popular betting exchange in Australia.

Bonus Bet

Bonus bets are incentives given out by bookmakers to encourage people to punt with them. We can use them to guarantee profit.


Dutching is the technique of backing more than one selection to achieve the same profit/loss regardless of which selection wins. You may spread your bets across several bookmakers or betting exchanges to get an equal profit.Dutching becomes useful if you have turnover or offers in more than one bookmaker and if it works out cheaper to dutch between the books than back/laying. This is commonly found in events that have a discrete number of outcomes. It’s far easier to get a more profitable dutch in an event with 2 outcomes such as an AFL or NRL game win market. Than a Horse race with 7 potential winners. This is simply because bookies offer odds with a built in margin and typically the more outcomes the larger the margin in the market.

Expected Value (EV)

The amount a player can expect to win or lose if they were to place a bet on the same odds many times over, calculated through a simple equation multiplying your probability of winning with the amount you could win per bet, and subtracting the probability of losing multiplied by the amount lost per bet. See here for more.


Gubbing is the term given by matched bettors when an account with a bookmaker is no longer eligible for promotions. An account is said to be ‘Gubbed’ when it is no longer eligible. Tips for prolonging your betting accounts and avoiding the dreaded gubbing emails can be found here

Law of large numbers

The law of large numbers is a principle of probability according to which the frequencies of events with the same likelihood of occurrence even out, given enough trials or instances. As the number of experiments increases, the actual ratio of outcomes will converge on the theoretical, or expected, ratio of outcomes.See a video explaining the Law of Large Numbers

Lay Bet

When you place a Lay bet you are betting on an outcome not to happen. Laying bets is a service provided only by betting exchanges. Here’s a couple of examples:

Winx not to win the race
Australia not to beat New Zealand


The amount of money that you you can lose when placing a lay bet on the exchange. Always ensure you have enough in your Betfair account to be able to cover the Liability. To calculate the Liability – Stake*(Lay Odds – 1).

As an example:

If you place a lay bet for $10 stake at odds of 11.0 your liability will be $100 for the bet.


This is the amount of money available on a Betfair. When matched betting you want the amount of liquidity to be higher than your bet amount, if it isn’t your bet will only be partially matched and you risk losing money. You can find the liquidity underneath the odds.Try to avoid low-liquidity markets.

To identify a low-liquidity market you can check for a couple of things.

Amount matched – Check the top right corner of the market, you’ll see the overall amount of money matched.
Gaps in prices – If there’s gaps it’s a clear sign that not much money has been traded.

It’s important to avoid these markets.

Firstly, you can stick out like a sore thumb to the bookies should you be placing back bets on these markets. They also use Betfair as a guide for their prices and liquidity.
You can be forced to take bad value if you don’t get the odds that you want, therefore lose some of your profits.

Matched Betting

Matched betting is the process of taking advantage of bookmakers promotions and turning them in to profit.

Matched Betting Calculator

Matched betting calculators are used to help quickly and accurately work out the exact amount you need to lay on a betting exchange to ensure you get an equal return when placing a back bet.

Multi Bet

A Multi bet is a single bet that links together more than one bet and is dependent on all the bets winning to land a profit. This type of betting allows for higher odds than a single bet, potentially meaning a greater return from the initial stake size should all the bets come in.

Negative EV (-EV)

Negative Expected Value


Odds are a numerical expression, usually expressed as a pair of numbers, used in both gambling and statistics. In statistics, the odds for or odds of some event reflect the likelihood that the event will take place, while odds against reflect the likelihood that it will not. In gambling, the odds are the ratio of payoff to stake, and do not necessarily reflect exactly the probabilities.


An oddsmatcher calculates the best selections and markets for you to place your bonus bets and bets needed to complete your turnover requirements

Plus EV (+EV)

Plus Expected Value is the term given to any offer or group of offers that can be played in such a way that if they were to be played repeatedly would see you make profit

Qualifying Bet

A qualifying bet is a bet that you place to unlock a bonus bet. When placing a qualifying bet, the idea is to match it at the exchange with a lay bet that is as close to the back odds as possible.

Qualifying Cost

The amount of money that your qualifying bet has cost you.


The selection is the team or result that you are backing to happen


The amount of money you are betting on your selection

Stake Non Returned (SNR)

A bet where, if it wins, the original stake is not returned, For example, a bet of $5 at odds of 5.0 will return only $20. Most bonuses are SNR. We want to use higher odds in order to maximise profits.

Stake Returned (SR)

A bet where, if it wins, the original stake is also returned. For example, a bet of $5 at odds of 5.0 will return $25 – the $20 win plus the $5 stake.

Starting Price

Traditionally in Australia, the Starting Price for any horse in any race has been determined by the most common prevailing price available in the bookmakers ring at the meet in question.


Some bookies make us place additional bets before we can withdraw our winnings. This usually means that we have to bet an amount equal to the amount we won on our bonus bet before we can withdraw. It is important to know what the turnover requirement is before starting an offer to ensure we have enough bank to cover for the scenario.


Laying less than the calculator tells us to so that if our bet wins with the bookmaker we will have extra profit to offset any losses we might make during turnover. Underlaying bets is a good progression to not laying bets at all.


The short-term fluctuations of a long-term strategy.If you flip a coin 10,000 times you could feel very safe in assuming the result will be very close to 50% either side as the larger number evens out the variance.

Where if you flipped a coin just 10 times the chances of the results being more lopsided are far greater.

So even if I was getting great value with odds of $2.50 per coin flip (where the actual odds were $2) if I over bet and stake 50% of my bankroll per bet I am very likely to go bankrupt at some stage.

Following on from and closely related to variance is the probability of the possible run of losses you will have when betting and why that is important to consider when choosing how much you want to stake.

Here’s a short video on Variance.

Welcome Bonus

Another term for signup bonus. A welcome bonus may be given by bookmakers to entice you to have an account with them.


Winnings (also known as returns) Is the amount of money that is paid to you if your bet wins.